What to Take Away From Miami Heat’s Disastrous Visit to New York City

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Time to Panic?

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat set out on a six-game tour of the Atlantic sea board Thursday with a two-day visit to the Big Apple. Based on the records of both the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, the back-to-back set should have been easy for the defending champions. The Knicks and Nets have both become a breeding ground for injuries, circus acts and despair. Each organization was expected to challenge Miami atop the NBA Eastern Conference, but neither team’s season has gone according to plan.

Going along with the theme of the season, Brooklyn and New York would go on to surprise us all a defeat the ailing Heat. The Knicks started the party with a Thursday night victory, 102-92, and the Nets didn’t disappoint with a double-overtime win, 104-95.

Now, before everyone has a massive coronary over Miami’s recent losses and lackluster season, there are a few details I should point out. The first is that both Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier missed the two-game set due to injuries. Dwyane Wade played against the Knicks, but missed the Brooklyn game to rest his knees.

The second is the fact that it was consecutive games. Brooklyn was facing a depleted and tired Heat roster. Few people will certainly have little sympathy for Miami because they have LeBron James, and I can’t blame them. However, I cannot help but admit that for the Heat to lose to these two dysfunctional teams gives me a tiny reason for concern. The champs have four days off before they play the Washington Wizards and you know that Erik Spoelstra will rip apart the film. Here are five points that I have taken away from Miami’s disappointing New York City visit.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @Smphil01, "Like" him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com with any questions, comments, concerns or thoughts.

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Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier Matter

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A team never realizes that importance of a role player until he is gone. For the Heat, those two players are Chalmers and Battier. Both have missed a handful of games due to injury and until the Big Apply trip, the defending champs had handled themselves quite well. Chalmers and Battier offer offensive and defensive qualities that no other players can offer. Miami better hope these two players return soon, or it could be depressing stretch without them.

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King James is No Superman

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James had 36 points against the Nets, but as soon as he fouled out in overtime, the Heat collapsed. James may be the best player in the league and world, however, he cannot carry a team to a championship. He proved that when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His teammates must provide consistent play alongside James’ strong performances.

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Chris Bosh Cannot Be Trusted

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I wonder if Erik Spoelstra is sick and tired of defending Chris Bosh because I know I am. It is great that he does this and does that for the team, but scoring 10 points against Brooklyn without Wade and six against the Knicks is unacceptable. Bosh’s consistency at being inconsistent is enough to make my head explode. I just wish the big man would be a trustful source of scoring and rebounding, not one or the other.

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Dwyane Wade is a Necessity

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If Miami wants to win a third-straight championship, Dwyane Wade will need to be healthy and consistent. Luckily, the good news is that there are no consecutive games in the playoffs. Back-to-backs have been the kryptonite of Wade all season, only playing in a pair of two-game sets. Wade’s presence takes a lot of pressure off James and Bosh. Without him, the dimension and depth of Miami drops dramatically.

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Don't Get Too Caught Up in These Losses

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I know that the losses to the Knicks and Nets are ugly, but there is no need for anyone to get their panties in a bunch. Between the injuries and time of year, Miami has no reason to be worried or concerned. The important factors are the health status of everyone come April and May. In the middle of January, take the losses with stride and move on. I have a feeling there is a lengthy winning streak in the Heat’s future.

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